It’s that time of year! Even for those of us who frequent the gym pretty regularly, there’s something about January that makes you want to rethink your goals and center your focus. I definitely indulged over the holidays (that’s what they’re for!) and have been back in the gym since the new year hit. I’ve also switched up a few of my gym must-haves, so what better time to share them with you all?
9 Gym Bag Essentials
1. Water Bottle
A water bottle is an absolute must at the gym! I’m in the “not all water tastes the same” club so I like to try out different brands on occasion. When I’m not trying out a new brand, I always take a refillable water bottle with me–typically glass.
Isn’t it the worst when you get to the gym and realize you forgot your headphones? To avoid that, I now have a pair of headphones specifically for working out that never leaves my gym bag. Having a pair dedicated to the gym and making that pair wireless have been game changers.
If you haven’t already purchased a pair of wireless headphones, definitely look into it! It’s amazing being able to work out without dealing with a cord getting tangled or unplugged from your phone.
3. Fitness Watch
Over the years, I’ve learned that you can’t improve something if you aren’t aware it should be improved. Even if you don’t want to get down to the nitty-gritty of heart rates, calories, or beats per minute, having a fitness watch that at minimum counts your daily steps is eye-opening. You’ll be amazed how much (or how little) you move each day!
4. Book or Podcast
Because I’m trying to read two books each month this year, I’ve started bringing a book to the gym for my slower cardio days. I used to do this with my textbooks in college and found it extremely helpful. During more intense days, I like listening to motivational podcasts to set myself up for a productive day.
5. Comfortable Gym Shoes
Cute sneakers are still on trend right now, but all shoes aren’t created equal. Just because they’re a sneaker, it doesn’t mean they can also function well at the gym. Personally, I have to like the look of a shoe even if I’m at the gym. The busy, clunky look of old school trainers was never my cup of tea.
6. Gym Towel
Not into sweatbands? Me neither. I don’t like wearing any type of headband at the gym, sweat or not. Instead, I always make sure to bring a gym towel to dab away any sweat. While some gyms have free towels available as a courtesy, I just feel better bringing my own versus trusting they properly cleaned their stock.
7. Yoga Mat
Similar to the gym towel essential, mats are usually at the gym but it’s always a good idea to bring your own when you can. For one, it ensures you have a mat to use during your stretch or cool down session. Also, many gyms offer free yoga classes and supplies can run low. Bringing your own saves the hassle of having to get there early enough to secure a mat.
8. Disinfectant Wipes
Need I say more? You’d be amazed how many gym regulars skip the whole “wipe the machine after you use it” thing. Seriously, it’s gross. Stay safe and germ-free by bringing your own wipes.
9. Post-Workout Snack
I very rarely go to the store immediately after working out, but sometimes I do have to run a few quick errands and traffic can make the trip even longer. When the hunger kicks in, it’s so crucial to have a healthy snack already packed and ready to go. Otherwise, you’ll end up at a fast food drive-thru totally wiping out the hard work you just put in!
What are some of your gym bag essentials?
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